Merseyside Police has carried out dawn raids at 13 addresses in Liverpool this morning (Thursday, 17 November 2016).
The raids this morning follow the arrests yesterday of seven men, aged between 23 and 33 years, for drugs offences.
The arrests are the culmination of a 12-month operation targeting the supply of controlled drugs in Anfield, Lancashire, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and Devon and Cornwall. Searches of the addresses are ongoing.
During the operation 80 people have been arrested, 15 kilos of controlled drugs (including heroin and cocaine), six firearms and a large quantity of cash have been seized.
Detective Superintendent Lee Turner, said: “The warrants executed today are the culmination of a 12-month investigation (Operation Scarva) into an organised crime group who have blighted the lives of residents in Anfield and beyond, through the supply of Class A controlled drugs. We believe the group has operated under a veil of fear and is linked to violence and the criminal use of firearms.
“Quite often groups such as this exploit the young and vulnerable, who they have coerced into operating their lucrative ‘drugs grafts’. We believe this particular group also responsible for the supply of drugs across Lancashire, Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire, and Devon and Cornwall.
“During the course of the operation 80 arrests have been made and 15 kilos of controlled drugs (heroin and cocaine), together with six firearms and a large quantity of cash have been seized.”
Following on from today’s activity officers from Liverpool will be carrying out a week of action in the Anfield area with partners including Liverpool Council, Trading Standards, environmental health, local housing associations and landlords.
Liverpool Superintendent Mark Morgan, said: “This investigation was put in place after members of the public raised concerns about drug dealing in their community. Sadly, sometimes those involved in the supply and distribution of drugs will resort to using firearms to protect their illegal trade, or to resolve petty disputes, as we have seen in recent weeks.
“I would like to reassure that the public that we are relentless in our pursuit of those involved in serious and organised crime and we are committed to making these streets safer for our communities.
“No-one should have to put up with drug dealing, and the associated crime it brings. We will work together with our communities to improve the quality of life in our neighbourhoods and make our communities stronger.
“In the coming week we will be carrying out a range of activities and initiatives with our partners, which are aimed at improving the local area and engaging with the community, whilst targeting people involved in gun and gang crime. My staff will increase their availability in and around Priory Road throughout the week, engaging with residents who want help or advice, and we will be doing a clean-up of areas within Anfield and taking part in a number of community events.”
He added: “If you are aware of drugs crime, or have information about those involved in serious and organised crime, in your area, let us know and we will take positive action and help you to improve your community. Calls to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 are anonymous and information provided could give us the opportunity to take positive action in your neighbourhood.”
Anyone with information about those involved in serious and organised crime, including the supply of controlled drugs and use of firearms, can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.